Trois-Rivieres Attak eliminated the defending CSL champions Italia Shooters from the playoffs with an emphatic 3-0 victory at the University of Quebec Trois-Riveres on Saturday afternoon.
Playing in a downpour for all except the last 10 minutes at the picturesque location, the Quebec team set the tone with some good passing keep possession soccer that took the ball well into the Italia half time and again and that led to the opening strike by Nicolas Lesage who drove the ball from the 18 yard line to the left of Italia goalkeeper Camilo Benzi. It was Lesage’s 19th goal of the season to take the lead in the goalscoring title.
Defender Elkana Mayard headed home the second at 55 minutes and forward Darko Kolic scored from close range on a counter attack following a passing play with forward Sita-Taty Matondo. That goal came at 88 minutes for a 3-0 final score to put Trois-Rivieres into the semifinals.
Italia's best opportunity came when a good attempt by Jason De Tomasis had goal written all over it until Attak goalkeeper Jon-Paul Piques used all of his 6’2” to make a one-handed diving save at the 16th minute mark.
Italia Shooters won the CSL championship in 2006 with an upset 1-0 victory over Serbian White Eagles. Italia finished third this season to the Eagles and Toronto Croatia in the tough International Division.
This is Trois-Rivieres Attak’s first year in the CSL and the Quebec-based team has looked very impressive and many give the Montreal Impact reserve squad a better than average chance to reach the CSL Championship Final in their inaugural campaign.
The other three quarterfinal games will be played Sunday at the following locations:
Club Roma, St. Catharines at 4 pm: St. Catharines Wolves vs.Canadian Lions
The Hershey Centre, Mississauga at 7 pm: Toronto Croatia vs. North York Astros
Esther Shiner Stadium, North York at 7 pm: Serbian White Eagles vs. Windsor Border Stars